IC-3Rs • Innovation Centre for 3R Alternatives

Decades of experience in pioneering research
and international collaborations

The creation of IC-3Rs in 2017 is preceded by a long history of influential non-animal pharmaco-toxicological research within the VUB's ‘In Vitro Toxicology & Dermato-cosmetology’ (IVTD) research department and international collaborations. Based on that existing strong expertise, IVTD developed animal-free and animal-reducing methods. This academic setting has ensured that IC-3Rs puts human health and scientific progress at the centre of its societal impact.


The IVTD research group of the VUB, from which IC-3Rs originated, is and has been a major contributor to international pharmaco-toxicological research. Mainly through the development of animal-free methods based on human liver, IVTD has built up a great deal of knowledge and has shown the ability of in vitro models to become a new and more human-relevant starting point in biomedical research.

Over the past decades, IVTD has united researchers with regard to non-animal methods, the highlights being the co-founding of organisations such as the 'European Consensus Platform for Alternatives' (ECOPA) and the 'Belgian Platform for Alternative Methods' (BPAM). Today, that pioneering role translates further into IC-3Rs.

IC-3Rs is internationally recognised and collects and disseminates knowledge about the most advanced in vitro, in silico and in chemico methods in biomedical research. Moreover, IC-3Rs informs researchers using laboratory animals as well as the general public about techniques that minimise the number of laboratory animals and improve the living conditions of laboratory animals. In this way, the Centre actively promotes the wider use of non-animal methods and the 3Rs principle in scientific research. IC-3Rs is also a member of a European COST initiative that brings all 3Rs Centres in Europe together (Neuhaus et al., 2022a;Neuhaus et al., 2022b).